I used to be a really fun person. Then I became a mom.
I could pretend to not have any idea how or why this has happened. But truth be told, I already know the answer. Somewhere along the way I lost my sparkle. I let it slip away into the abyss of family life, duty, and the needs of others.
If you know me, you’ll already know I’m not all sad faces, hardship, and the serious version of me. I love to have a good time. I mean, I really love to have a good time. Even as I’m writing this, Jeremy leaned over to see what I’m working on and said, “You are a fun mom. You’re a great mom.” But I know me, and I know my heart at times. The joy meter has taken a drastic plunge in a not-so-good direction throughout my mothering years.
I want that to change. Jesus wants that to change. It’s extremely clear-cut all throughout the Bible. We are to be a people of joy.
I believe He knew this would be a struggle (amen?), so maybe that’s why we’re reminded so often in scripture. I’m guessing we could all agree it’s hard to keep our smile in the midst of the mundane.
So I’m here today to remind us. I’m here to urge us to remember who we are. As a person who maybe used to be a lot more cheerful and a lot more fun and as a daughter of the Most High King, we were made for more. For joy. For a heart that exudes the love of Christ to all we meet. Especially the ones who call us Mom.
Lately, I’ve been hearing my kids say things like, “Mom, I’m sorry it’s been so hard.” or “I hope today’s an easy day for you.”
Hmm… the only reason my older (and super intuitive) kids would feel the need to say these words (though kind) to me is because I’ve expressed stress and hardship to them. In simpler terms: my smile has been missing.
We do real life around here. They see my tears. They don’t see a picture perfect family — but wow.
I haven’t been holding up my end of the joy bargain. The part where I’m supposed to serve without complaint. Love without conditions. And all the rest of the tricky things that come alongside.
I’m a thankful mom and a relatively joyful one. But those attitudes disappear and then reappear in ways they shouldn’t. Thanksgiving should always be on my lips, along with contentment and joy.
A cheerful heart or cheerful disposition as verses 15:13 and 17:22 of Proverbs speak of doesn’t magically appear in our lives because all is fine and dandy. It goes much deeper. A cheerful, or joyful countenance wells up from a lasting knowledge of our eternal home awaiting us and the loving Savior who isn’t going to let us go no matter what, if we believe in Him. That’s good news!! THE Good News. Even on the hard days.
Jesus Christ came to earth in human form, proclaimed the good news of God’s kingdom, then died a brutal death with all our ugly sin heaped high on His shoulders so that we could be with Him forever. He died OUR death so we didn’t have to.
That’s an amazing love, a there-truly-are-no-words-for-it kind of devotion. When we really stop and think about the wonder of it all, joy is there. Joy comes from the truth that it’s all going to be okay in the end. Jesus made it okay.
It’s tough, I know. Situations come into our lives that seek to snatch the joy right out from under us. But I want us to fight. It doesn’t have to be that way. So I’m going to pray for us. Right here, right now. And if you’re serious about keeping that joy? Prayer needs to be the weapon we pull out of our arsenal on a daily basis.
Let’s start here together:
We are moms who desire to have a smile on our face as we serve our families. We know you give good gifts, and we thank you for the gift of people to pour our love and acts of service into. Please restore our joy. Help us to do all things in the name of your Son. Especially the difficult and mundane, crumb-laden, and sticky. We want to fight for a disposition that pleases you. We pray you will fight for us. For we know that when we are weak, you are strong. Thank you for loving us to the ends of the earth as we love our families to the ends of ourself.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name,